Posts Tagged ‘punk’

Over 100 people attended the History Ireland discussion yesterday afternoon on ‘Dublin Punk & New Wave’ in the late 1970s as part of the Phibsboro Community Arts Festival (Phizzfest). The final line up was Pete Holidai (The Radiators From Space), Eamon Delaney (Ex. Punk & current Indo columnist), Billy McGrath (UCD Ents 1976/77 & manager of The Atrix), Dave Donnelly (Ex. Black Catholics) and Cllr. Cieran Perry (Ex. Punk).

The response was overwhelmingly positive with the only complaints focused on the lack of female participation in the panel and no chance for a questions and answers session. Hopefully, this will be the start of a number of public discussions on different aspects of Dublin youth/music culture e.g. Skinhead, Rockabilly, Mod/Soul and Dance/Rave.

Here’s my playlist from yesterday. Would you have chosen differently? Left out any particular song? Added in something else?

1. The Radiators From Space – Television Screen (1977)

2. The Boomtown Rats – Lookin’ After Number One (1977)

3. The Vipers – I’ve Got You (1978)

4. The Vipers – No Such Thing (1978)

5. The Boomtown Rats – Rap Trap (1978)

6. U2 – Stories For Boys (1979)


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Without me even knowing it for a number of years, Glen E. Friedman had long been one of my favourite photographers. I only came to realise it was one bloke behind so many of my favourite images when I was given a copy of his work on Fugazi, the wonderful Keep Your Eyes Open.

Some of his images made their way to my teenage wall, and others featured inside magazines strewn across a bedroom floor. Images of Public Enemy, RUN DMC, Angelic Upstarts, The Misfits, Beastie Boys and Black Flag among others. Iconic images. Even if one isn’t familiar with the music of the artist featured on occasion, the images are wonderful in their own right.

Most of Friedman’s work covers the subcultures of skateboarding, hip hop and punk. To snap acts as diverse as Minor Threat and RUN DMC, but perfectly capture the rebellious spirit of both, is Friedman’s skill. His anti-war exhibition at New York City, featured in the excellent boingboing video posted above, was a new departure and acclaimed in it’s own right.

The exhibition of Friedman’s work is taking place as part of the Photo Ireland Festival.. It will host more than twenty completely free exhibitions. Excellent.

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An interesting find. A radio documentary on the Dublin punk scene from 1981 presented by the late Gerry Ryan and produced by Ed Mulhall, the current Managing Director of News in RTE.

Opening with the classic new wave single ‘Over 21’ by Berlin, the show has interviews with members of Irish Punk bands The Threat, The Peridots, the Nun Atax, Microdisney, the Virgin Prunes, the Vipers, Revolver and Berlin. Unfortunately there’s no introductions for the interviewees, so there’s no way of knowing who’s who. The only people I can recognise are Dave Fanning and Bob Geldof.

There’s particularly interesting points made during the program about the idea of bands ‘selling out’, the role of ‘class’ in the punk movement and the relationship between punks and violence.

You can listen to the radio documentary by clicking on the link in the first line of this post. Below, I’ve uploaded the song which the documentary takes its name from, ‘Over 21’ by Berlin.

Berlin – Over 21 by matchgrams

The Sounds of Ireland Festival in London, 1981. As you can see 'Berlin' were ahead of U2 on the bill.

The Sounds of Ireland Festival in London, 1981. As you can see Berlin were ahead of U2 on the bill.

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That time of the year again, when the Irish Film Institute roll out their annual Stranger Than Fiction festival. “Four days of documentaries that promise to entertain, inform and inspire” You can check out the complete line up over on the official IFI website, here.

Among the latest in the IFI Archive screenings, I am very, very excited about The Irish or the Memory of a People. Commissioned by French broadcaster ORFT3 in the early 1970s, this one was filmed at the height of the folk and trad revival in this country. It features performances from the likes of The Dubliners, Tony MacMahon, Willie Clancy and even Planxty. The Planxty footage was recorded at UCD Belfield campus, so bad jumpers and beards can be expected from the student folkies. The documentary features footage from inside Dublin trad and folk haunts like the Pipers Club, but indeed is much broader in scope than just the capital city.

The film will be shown on the 18th April (a Sunday) at 12.15

I’m also really excited by this one, which is getting its International Premiere in Dublin. I’m sure it will appeal to our own jaycarax and other fans of subcultures like it. From the time I heard ESG and Talking Heads in the trailer to when I read that Debbie Harry of Blondie fame is narrating the documentary, I’ve been on a google quest over this one.

“In the late 1970s New York City was teetering on the edge of total chaos. A failed economy, crime and en masse housing corruption gave way to a city in crisis. Yet, as is often the case, out of the economic and social strife that held the city hostage, a family of homegrown cultures that would forever change the world began to emerge and thrive”

This one will be shown on Friday the 16th April, with a 18.45 start. The producer, Michael Holman, will be on hand for a Q&A session afterwards.

Two very different documentaries.
Two very different cultures.

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January 30:

After you’ve recovered from the January Punky Reggae Party, head into town on Saturday for the Recession Club. Moving their operation from Shebeen Chic to Pravda, expect the usual classic sounds of punk, ska and rockabilly.

January Recession Club

February 6:

Garage rock n roll with the lovely Laura Lovejoy on decks.

February Retro Revival Club

March 13:

A two room ‘Mod Extravaganza’ featuring the best DJs from Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and Wexford.

March 'From The Vaults' Mod & Soul Night

April 10:

Bubbles, the legendary Dublin 80s Mod night, is back with a vengeance for one night only.

April Bubbles Mod Night.

May 23:

A one day festival featuring the island’s best mod, ska and rockabilly bands. Something for everyone and all for a good cause.

May 'Rockin Road' Festival

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Last Thursday, as some readers may know, the three of us behind CHTM went to check out seminal hardcore band Propagandhi in The Village. I was granted an oppurtunity to have a few words with guitarist/ vocalist Chris Hannah. And I nice guy he was too, though not a Dub, he has family in “Cork County.”
Chris Hannah, Propagandhi

Chris Hannah, Propagandhi

It’s good to have you guys back in Dublin, you’ve been here three times in the last nine years and a lot has changed in that time, not least your music; In my opinion you’ve evolved and matured from your early days and I would say that’s definitely for the better- what would you say?

I would say thank you, and obviously we would too and I think all bands should evolve and mature really, otherwise somethings wrong.

But it’s always good to hear the old stuff?

Yeah, of course, and it’s easier to play too!

You guys added another guitarist in Beaver a couple of years back, has that made a big difference to the band?

Well, yes. As a three piece, we struggled to reproduce the songs live as they were on record; it was always mildly disappointing to hear it live-  all our records have two guitars, and sound more layered. So this has helped us to get something more accurate when we play live- When Beaver plays, it gives things a better sense of atmosphere.

You obviously knew him since his I-Spy days – Was there any other Canadian bands that had an influence on you guys?

Well, older bands like SNFU, Guilt Parade, Voivod, NoMeansNo, Sacrifice, Razor – Mainly bands that had their heyday in the 80s. Some of them, like Voivod and SNFU are still playing, and are staging a revival having made some of their most compelling music in the last five years, and that’s really inspiring for us, we’re getting fucking old now, two of us are hitting forty and we’re starting to feel it!

So as you get older then, are there any bands from Canada/ North America you see as taking the torch from you guys?

Well, Protest the Hero are really young guys, when they started, they told us that they had been really into our records, and that’s cool. Since then, they’ve obviously evolved so much and become such amazing musicians. Hardcore is only really being heard in small basement shows in Canada now, it’s hard to find anything that’s above the radar!

Punk rock bands can be two a penny these days – What keeps driving you guys to play the music you do?

Well, being able to play with friends is a huge thing, playing with guys I’ve been friends with for many years. I always had this sense of wonder – I remember being six or seven and my mom bought home this tape recorder, pressed record and played it back; I remember listening back to my voice with this sense of wonder, and that’s something that has stayed with me, I have it when I listen to our songs back through the speakers, and I guess when that dies…



I’m sure it must be an amazing feeling when you hear something you’ve put so much into back?

For us, because each of us, separately don’t have much going for us, together  we’re able to cobble together songs that remind us of bands that we really like so we’re always impressed!

I wouldn’t say that- For me, you guys are probably one of the more technically proficient Hardcore bands out there!

Well, thanks for saying so!

Todays Empires in probably still my favourite Propagandi album; so what’s yours?

Well, the new one, but I’ve got a soft spot for Potempkin because it sort of disappeared from the radar, nobody knew much about it!

Would you say that it disappeared off the radar because you guys left almost five years between Todays Empires and Potempkin?

Partly that and partly because at the time, we didn’t really do any promotion, we didn’t tour and let it sit there; the record company knew that and just didn’t bother telling anybody about the record and I think also at that time we were a three piece and something was missing, and something it took us almost a year to work it out, so when we realized, we were like… get Beaver over here!

 So would you say you are as political as you always have been? The new record comes across more personally reflective than overtly political…

More-so than ever I would say. There’s individual members who are more politically engaged back home, whether that’s in progressive community initiatives or supporting international solidarity movements, the only thing that’s changed for us is the sense of the scope and the scale of what’s wrong – We haven’t felt as if we’ve mellowed at all… As for the new record, well it’s just a different writing style.

How do the songs come about? Is it words or ideas or music first?

It’s just a big mish-mash really; sometimes it’s easier when you’re playing with friends… sometimes. But again, Beaver is the only guy with any training or musical background so it’s sometimes hard to communicate ideas.

You guys were a driving force behind G7, but you seem to have pulled back from that a bit now. Are there any other projects you guys are involved in back home?

Well, the reason I pulled back from the G7 thing was to do the band full time, and that’s taken up all of 2009, and actually most of 2008 too, so that’ll probably be it until next year. When we’re home, Jord does a lot of organising with the Canadian Haiti Action Network,  he does a lot of stuff in the Refugee Centre down town, Beaver is working on a music programme in a poor area of the city. Also OCAP (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty,) they’re a kick ass organisation.

Your music has always been political in its lyrics and has stayed pretty true to its punk and thrash origins. Punks aren’t necessarily political as we all know – Do you guys ever get stick from crowds for your political beliefs?

Not really; not much anymore. It seems like a lot of those people have been weeded out over the years and they don’t come to shows any more, like back in the nineties, a lot of people were quite aggressive to the things we were saying but thankfully, that died down towards the end of the nineties…

I don’t want to  dwell too much on the past and talk about the Fat Wreck days but do you think there were some bands who hung around that scene who have, effectively, sold out on the political aspect of their music in order to make a quick penny?

The idea of “selling out” is hard because there is a spectrum of compromises you have to make within the framework of a capitalist society, and ones that we have to make sometimes, although we might not like them, but some people have a different zone, where that changes from necessary compromise to a “Sell-Out.” Not everyone agrees with this, but take a band like Rage Against the Machine, they did something worthwhile with what they did with a major label; I don’t think it’s impossible to use ubiquitous media to a large degree and come out with a positive experience. But it’s not for us, none of us has the facility to engage with mass media- We’re just these guys, we’re not well spoken, we play songs that aren’t particularly well received by the general public. Even the things we talk about has the capacity to offend more peoples core values explicitly than say, Rage, so there’d be no point in moving to a bigger label, it’d just be the same people listening to us anyways!

Even moving to Small-Man Records after a very well received album, staying true to your political beliefs and still managing to get to places like Dublin, I have to say, is enheartening! So what’s the next step for Propagandhi?

Go home, get our heads together and start, as far as the band goes, putting together new material to record next year, politically, Jord has his work with the community stuff he’s doing, Beaver has the music programme, and I’ll try and help out somewhere!

So will it be another three years before the next album?

No, I’d hope in perhaps a year and a half…

Fingers crossed!

Yeah, here too!

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The Belfield Punky Reggae Party has boldly decided to move away from its safe home of UCD campus and venture into the dark streets of Dublin City Centre for our December night.

Expect a festive night of classic soul, ska, rockabilly and punk.

Belfield Punky Reggae Party (Vol. 3)
DJs Carax, Jim Scully and guests.
Friday 18th December 2009. Doors 8pm.
Seomra Spraoi. 10 Belvedere Court, D1.
€5 entry. BYOB!
Contact: belfieldprp@gmail.com

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I’ve a healthy obsession with Dublin punk/new wave from the late 70s till mid 80s. If I was asked, here would be my top five Dublin first wave punk singles:

1. The Radiators From Space – Television Screen (1977)

2. The Atrix – Treasure On The Wasteland (1980)

3. The Blades – Hot For You (1980)

4. The Boomtown Rats – Lookin’ After Number One (1977)

5. The Vipers – I’ve Got You (1978)

There are quite of number of other classic Dublin punk/new wave singles that are impossible to find either online or in real life. I think it would be a great idea to digitize as many as possible and put them online so they can be enjoyed by all. If anyone has any of the following singles lying in their attic or garage, please get in touch.


• 5 Honours & A 175 / Denise Denise

7″ – Libra Records – LHS002 – IRL – June 1982 – PS

• I Wanna Be Your Man / Money Back

7″ – Libra Records – LHS003 – IRL – 1982

• I’ll Never Forget It (AKA Two Sucks) / Suicide

7″ – Scoff Records – DT028 – IRL – 2 September 1983 – PS


• Secrets / Advertising

7″ – CBS Records – A 2919 – IRL – 14 January 1983 – PS


• Over 21 / Waiting for the Future

7″ – Charisma Records – CB351 – IRL – 1980 – PS, purple label

• Boyfriends / Central Station

7″ – Philips Records – 6000 557 – IRL – 1980 – PS

Camino Organisation:

• Human Voices // Executivity / The Bust Up Of Love

7″ – Reekus Records – RKS 004 – 1982 – PS

DC Nein:

• Nightclub / Things Japanese

7″ – Nienteeneightease Records – DC9-001 – IRL – February 1980 – insert

• The Red Tapes

K7 – Nienteeneightease Records – DCMC 01 – IRL – 1980

10 track cassette

The Mighty Shamrocks:

• Condor Woman / Stand Up In Public

7″ – Strong Records – WR 1 – IRL – October 1981 – PS

New Versions:

• Like Gordon of Khartoum / What You Want

7″ – Mulligan Records – LUNS 744 – IRL – 1981 – PS


• Love Potion No.9 / The Prize

7″ – WEA Records – K18420 – 1980 – PS

Pop Mechanics:

• Soldier Boys / It Feels Like I’m Alone Again

7″ – Polydor Records – 2078 144 – IRL – 1982 – PS


• Silently Screaming / On The Run

7″ – Rockburgh Records – ROCS203 – UK – 1978 – PS

Rhythm Kings:

• Goin’ Steady // Fast Girls / When You’re Dancing

7″ – Scoff Records – DT008 – 1981 – PS

• John Wayne / Want Ad Blues

7″ – Scoff Records – DT013 – 1981 – PS

• Hey Hey Holly / You Broke My Heart

7″ – Scoff Records – DT014 – 1982 – PS

Rob Strong & The Rockets:

• Farewell To Harlem / We Got Tonight

7″ – Strong/Good Vibrations Records – WR2 – 1981 – PS

The Romantiks:

• Said If You Needed Me / Little Queenie

7″ – G.I.Records – GI003 – 1978 – no PS

The Shade:

• 6:05 / Talk To Me

7″ – Juverna Records – JUV-001 – 1981 – no PS?

• Watching You / Touch Sensitive

7″ – EMI Records – IEMI 5093 – 1982 – PS

Strange Movements:

• Dancing In The Ghetto / Amuse Yourself

7″ – Good Vibrations International – GVI GOT-5 – N.IRL – 1980 – poster PS

The Sussed:

• Don’t Swim On The East Coast / I Wanna Conform

7″ – Dead Records – DEAD U2 – 1981 – PS

The Tabs:

• Million Miles / Gotta Get Away

7″ – Vixen Records – FM001 – 1982 – PS

Teen Commandments:

• Private World / Italian Girls

7″ – Auric Records – AU79003 – 1981 – PS

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